The latest version of Operation Green Shepherd, running for a week in the Bradenton area, has finally been made public.
There were eighteen arrests with several more to come according to the press release. Once again, the press release totally distorts the true facts about what the police are doing. The police are by now scraping the bottom of the barrel and arresting mentally challenged young men who because of learning disabilities, autism or other disorders fall for the bait and switch tactic. These men were not looking for underage girls to seduce. In almost every instance, they responded to adult profiles posted on Meetme.com or Craigslist Casual Encounters. The police engaged them in chat with texts, emails and ultimately phone calls. The undercover chatters, after first pretending to be an adult, then claimed to be 13 or 14 years old girls who would say things like, “boys my age just don’t do it for me”. They claimed to be seeking someone to give them sexual “experience” and lured and seduced the men. This is just the opposite of what the law was designed to do.
The real sex predators know better than to fall for this type of entrapment. What the Sheriff is now getting are the young, introverted and sometimes mentally challenged men whose chronological age far exceeds their mental age. Hopefully the State Attorney’s office will do the right thing and weed out the cases involving the mentally challenged.
It breaks my heart when I interview these young men and see the havoc these types of arrests bring to caring family members.
Even worse is thinking of how these young men would make it in State prison.
The mentally challenged men, or men with disabilities, face the horrors of becoming victims of rape and sodomy in prison.
I have yet to find one instance of an inmate being prosecuted for rape in the Florida prison system.
Most prison rapes are covered up and swept under the rug and never ever prosecuted.
So far, Ed Brodsky’s office has done a pretty good job of exercising discretion and resolving cases involving the very young.
Is this how you want your law enforcement resources spent?
While this Internet Sex Sting was running, there were homicides, burglaries, drug deals and other violent crimes. It generally takes about twenty officers to run a sting and the average cost to the taxpayers is $80,000, not including the money spent in prosecuting the cases. That is twenty officers that were taken off the street and diverted to essentially creating crime, instead of preventing or detecting it. It surely makes for good election propaganda but does nothing to protect the community. When the press release claims that children are being protected, it is a myth. Contact the Sheriff in Manatee and let him know what you think. As a sex sting lawyer, I will continue to fight against these outrageous wastes of our police resources.
As a Florida Sex Sting Lawyer and an experienced Sex Crime Attorney I have talked to and represented many of the arrested in these Internet sex sting cases. If you, a friend, son, brother, relative or loved one was arrested or under investigation in a sex sting operation and have questions or need an attorney to consult with or talk to them in the jail. Please call an experienced sex crime attorney.